France: Prime minister intervenes to stop ban of posters for musical trio

13 April 2015


The French Prime Minister stepped in to have a ban lifted on an advert for a musical trio called ‘The Priests’.

The country’s tram and Metro network RATP came under fire for pushing France’s beloved secularity too far when it banned posters advertising a concert with Les Pretres in June 2015.

Les Pretres (‘The Priests’) are a popular group in France, and all but one of its members is an ordained Catholic priest.

RATP referred to that the poster’s mentioning of ‘Christians of the East’ – as the group is raising money for Christians persecuted in places such as Iraq and Syria – breached the country’s strict rules on secularity.

RATP’s censorship move created a stir and prompted an angry response in particular among Catholics.

On 6 April 2015, the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls reportedly gave RATP a phone call, and only a few hours later the ban was swiftly dropped. Pierre Mongin, the head of the state-owned tram network, said they would now display the posters by the music group.

The trio’s album ‘Spiritus Dei’ topped the SNEP French album chart for nine weeks. Previously, they have given €50,000 to help open a school in India plus €300,000 for charities helping children in France.

» The Local – 7 April 2015:
Paris Metro lifts ban on ‘Christians advert’

» – 7 April 2015:
Paris Metro Does U-Turn On Christian Poster Ban

» The Standard – 6 April 2015:
Paris subway censors music group’s ‘Christian’ ad

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